Winter holiday in Queensland :: it’s a wrap!

For the last couple of days we enjoyed some cousin time with making some Legos and hanging out together. It had to be a low key experience as my nephew, just had an operation of getting his adenoids and tonsils out – so he was in recovery mode. This was fine with us and we enjoyed some downtime over lunch and cups of tea.

Our last day at the Sunshine Coast was spent climbing walls at Rockit climbing gym where I managed to get pretty high for someone scared of heights! We did auto belays which is so fun as you just drop to the ground gradually, though my landings were not as graceful as the kids. I reckon we will be doing more climbing after this experience – there are no pics unfortunately as everything had to be put away safely including jewellery. Afterwards we were starving after using so much energy to climb, so we went to Mint for a lovely lunch and some treats – check out this cabinet of goodness!

Later in the arvo it was time to head on over to the airport and after a quick walk by the ocean to say farewell to our relaxing time away. Where at night I got to watch Stranger Things 3 on my little biddy phone screen enjoying the soundtrack on my headphones! Here we are leaving the Sunny Coast at sunset and arriving Melbourne later that evening.

Winter holiday in Queensland :: Peregian Beach

After the rainy days we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunny Sunday which was too good to stay inside, so I said to the kids let’s go to the beach! We made it to Peregian Beach – a place where I used to live years and years ago as an art student. I love it there and remember the afternoons after my days at school I would come home and go for long walks along the beach to watch the sunsets – it was so special. The beach there is stunning and I found it very upmarket these days with an incredible bakery and a fave shop selling mid century furniture and artwork midmodoz. Unfortunately I cannot purchase anything as I have no idea what we need for our new house as yet! I did love the artwork above and a patio setting, so I went in and chatted to the owner and she said you should see the warehouse ūüėÄ Yes please!!

Later that day we met some friends and took a walk up Mt Ninderry – a hike recommended by our Air Bnb host. It was absolutely stunning from way up high and we enjoyed the scenery as we wandered along the track, there were so many rocks formations and flora to admire.

From way up high we saw Mt Coolum, where we hiked the day before as one of the many vistas you could capture from the top of the mountain. I loved the ferns and the rocks, the mushrooms and this amazing fan leaf palm as we were going back to the car. It was such a beautiful, relaxed hike and way easier than Mt Coolum even though it was that little bit higher at 304 metres.

Winter holiday in Queensland – Part 2 :: Coolum

Part two of our holiday in Queensland was up the Sunshine coast – this is my happy place, a place so relaxing with the most gorgeous beaches and delicious food. We drove up from my parents place and then arrived just in time for lunch where we found New Earth cafe with delicious creations like this hot chocolate and vegan caramel slice – so tasty. Then as soon as it was time to check in we drove on over to our Air Bnb at Mt Coolum, so beautiful.

The first day at our mini vacay up the Sunshine Coast was to get outside and enjoy some hiking, so as we were close to Mt Coolum we put on our trainers and wandered up and up and up to the top – 208 metres above sea level. It was an excellent cardio workout going up all the stairs but there are some sketchy areas where you have to be careful where you are putting your feet because when you look down it is a long way to the bottom!

The views up top were just incredible but as the weather was still a little grey and the rain clouds were coming in which made the winds very gusty – my crazy hair can attest to that! The kids were very excited to meet an endangered tree that is endemic to Mt Coolum called the She Oak – pictured up the top left. On the way down we wandered the pathway using those thigh muscles to keep balance – thank goodness for my time at the gym I say!

And here is a panorama of the sea with those billowing grey clouds up high ready to rain on us any minute!!

After our hike up to the top of the mountain we wanted to enjoy some beach time but the surf was wicked, grey and very rough plus we got rained on! So we cancelled that idea and decided to enjoy an indoor activity.

Oh yay! We drove less than 30 minutes south to play mini golf inside. Something that we have not experienced since our time in California when I used to take Ash to play when he had a day off school. In California, we enjoyed the sunshine and hit around the little ball until the end of the course – sometimes taking ages. This course was only 9 holes and here are a couple of our faves with their references to California – west side, yay!

From behind our beautiful little studio Air Bnb we enjoyed a quiet private spot where I could enjoy some Qi Gong outside in the mornings. Where one morning I was out there in the sunshine and enjoying the bird sounds when this mama Brahminy Kite delivered some treats to her little ones up to her nest high at the top of the pine tree. Later that morning we enjoyed Otis the super friendly golden retriever in our pad for some quiet time and lots of pats.

Pocketful of Sunshine

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The time finally came to say goodbye to a¬†favourite place of mine¬†– the Sunshine Coast! It’s name just says it all – Sunshine, which is one of the reasons why we are still in California enjoying all its sunshine.

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We couldn’t leave the Coast without a party and my uncles band playing their own range of ‘swamp music’ as they call it – a mix of old classics to sing along to! We also had a couple of their friends bring their djembe drums for some drumming action. The highlight of the evening was a surprise CD my uncle found of one of his friends Herb playing the Cherokee flute – here he is playing it while we enjoy the amazing flute sounds. The funny thing was that my uncle thought I found the CD and sent it to him from California and as it turned out I had never heard it before! Still it was a great way to end the evening with a bit fun for Herb hearing his CD and playing some live tunes for the gang.

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It was a night of enjoying glasses of wine from the Waeco camping fridge that also comes in handy for a party! It keeps your wine nice and cool but be careful that it does not get too cool and turn into a slushy wine, which is what happened to mine – yikes!

AS it was a big night out РI stayed up till 2am drinking and chatting about the classical music and arts scene in Australia, it was very insightful?!? Then comes Sunday after sleeping in a bed full of 3 children I was pretty knackered Рthe day was way too beautiful to sleep away so we went to Alexandra Headland for a bit of a relax by the sea and it was the perfect tonic but just remember if you swim in the surf to be between the red and yellow flags.

The day before we left a friend of my Uncle’s took us out for the afternoon to Point Cartwright for some incredible photo opportunities. We felt so alive with an energy when we were rock hopping right by the crashing waves that it could have been the adrenalin from an unseen danger! The super spry kids found many shells in between the massive flat rock islands and enjoyed the rock hopping the most, moving along the rocks very gracefully.

The rocks themselves were pieces of art in themselves – the colours, textures and shapes creating this amazing space to walk and rock hop through.

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Point Cartwright has a huge lighthouse sitting atop the coast and right next to it is a massive water tower holding 6 mega litres of water which recently scored a facelift with beautiful mural and we enjoyed finding the different animals like the square tailed kite.

Then finally the time came to say goodbye to my sister and the kids favourite Aunty. It was a sad farewell as who knows when we will be back home to Australia to see my sister and my nephew who is already 5 years old!

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

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The next stop in our journey was an hour or so up North to the beautiful Sunshine Coast to hang with my sister and my 5 year old nephew. The day when we arrived the weather was warm and sunny – a perfect Queensland winters day. As it was the perfect day for a drive we headed on up to the lovely town of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Wandering through to the local town centre we found these lovely blooms on the way to a hot chocolate. The local town had a co-op and a fabric store that I love, called Sapling Textiles with fabrics from India РI was sad that it was closed! Also we found a cool local non-profit with beautifully designed clothes from India called The Industree where I found a lovely hummingbird jumper AKA sweater that matches my tattoo!

On our way to The Shak for a Sunday brunch to meet up with family we found this secret sacred garden called Wunya Park in honour of the Indigenous people of the area. A lady places random crocheted items around the garden for wanderers to find and follow.

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Finally we made our way to The Shak¬†a legendary local, organic cafe for brunch and excellent coffee. The menu was just amazing and I enjoyed the Avo’ Smash, just delish!¬† Check out the iced chai with their¬†coconut mylk made in house, just perfect!

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These amazing Moreton Bay fig trees are just a walk down from The Shak on King Street in Buderim and are perfect photo subjects.

Some more of these beautiful trees in colour. They are the best trees for climbing.

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We enjoyed some winter beach time and hanging out with my friend from Portland while we serendipitously met at the Sunshine Coast for our Stateside summer vacations!